Gubernatorial candidates attend CO2 pipeline rally

MELLETTE — Gubernatorial hopefuls Jamie Smith and Steven Haugaard were both present at a rally in opposition to Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon sequestration pipeline.

The proposed carbon dioxide pipeline would pump liquefied carbon dioxide from ethanol plants in five Midwestern states a mile underground in North Dakota. The $4.5 billion pipeline would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from 31 ethanol plants in those five states, with seven of those plants in South Dakota.

A permit for the pipeline is under consideration by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, but it hasn’t been without concerns with a host of landowners and counties filing petitions to provide official comment on the issue.

Haugaard challenged South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in Tuesday’s Republican primary. The winner faces Smith, who is a Democrat, in November.

Also in attendance were Greg Brooks and Scott Moore, who are both Republican candidates for District 23 House of Representatives. Several county commissioners from Spink, Brown and McPherson Counties were also at the rally.

Ahead of the rally, Smith told the American News that he attended to learn more about the project and where landowners stand. But while there is always more to learn, Smith said that he supports the landowners.

People attend a rally in opposition to Summit Carbon Solutions' proposed carbon sequestration pipeline on Sunday evening.

“If the landowners wanted to get behind this and do something with this, I think that’s their prerogative. Using eminent domain for private industry is not something that I can support,” said Smith.

While Smith said he understands the need to reduce CO2 emissions, the repercussions need to be thought though.

More:Landowners voice concerns about proposed carbon pipeline at Aberdeen PUC meeting

Jamie Smith speaks at a rally in opposition to Summit Carbon Solutions' proposed carbon sequestration pipeline in Mellette on Sunday evening.

“When you do it at the expense of landowners and for private industry, then I struggle with it,” said Smith.

Haugaard told the Aberdeen American News that he is opposed to the project, and previously spoke at a Public Utilities Commission in Sioux Falls. In addition to being opposed to the project, Haugaard also said that he is interested in focusing on eminent domain reform. Eminent domain is going to affect growing cities like Sioux Falls, he said.

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